ROUNDUP: News in and around Metro Manila (Jan. 29, 2019)

Published January 29, 2019, 10:20 PM

by Dhel Nazario, Jeffrey G. Damicog, and Rey G. Panaligan

20 street dwellers rescued in San Juan

The San Juan City Police conducted an “aggressive rescue operation” of 20 mendicants and street dwellers from various areas in the city last week.

Senior Supt. Dindo Reyes, city chief of police, said that 20 people were rescued during the operation conducted in the Barangays of Balong Bato, Greenhills, Little Baguio, Kabayanan, and Pedro Cruz at around 8 p.m. on Jan. 22.

“We often conduct operations in those areas because during the day, they (mendicants and street dwellers) roam around and only return in the evening to sleep on their makeshift houses that we already dismantled,” Reyes said in Filipino.

According to Reyes, the operation is in coordination with the City Social Welfare Development (CSWD), City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), and Task Force Disiplina.

During the operation, some of the street dwellers and beggars resisted from being rescued because they think they are being arrested, Reyes said.

The rescued street dwellers and mendicants were turned over to Jose Fabella Center in Mandaluyong City while others were brought to the CSWD.

Reyes said the operation is in line with the directive of San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez to enforce local ordinances pursuant to the Presidential Decree 1563 or the Anti-Mendicancy Law of 1978 that prohibits begging on the streets.

The city government and the police vowed to keep a tight watch on street dwellers and beggars so they will not be used by criminal gangs in illegal activities. (Jhon Aldin Casinas)

Sputnik gang member gunned-down

A tricycle driver, believed to be a member of the dreaded Sputnik gang as shown on the tattoo on his right thigh, was gunned down by a still unidentified man in Balut, Tondo, Manila early morning Tuesday.

Police identified the fatality as Rodjett Mendez, 30, married, and resident of Tondo district. He died on the spot after sustaining a lone gunshot wound at the left side of his head.

CCTV footage showed that the victim approached and wrapped his right arm around the neck of a short-haired woman while the latter was talking to the suspect on-board a motorcycle at the corner of Rodriguez and Younger Streets around 4 a.m. on Jan. 29.

Moments later, the suspect drew his handgun and shot the victim.

He immediately sped off to the direction of H. Lopez Street bringing with him the weapon he used in the crime.

Meanwhile, the woman stayed in the area for a few minutes before leaving.

The case is subject to further investigation. (Ria Fernandez)

Teenager nabbed for pot session

A 16-year-old boy was arrested after he was caught engaged in a pot session inside a cemetery in Pasay City on Monday.

The suspect was only identified as JR, an out-of-school youth and a resident of Barangay 125, Pasay City.

Investigation showed that he was apprehended at around 2:15 p.m. inside the Roman Catholic Cemetery along Arnaiz Ave., Brgy. 127 in Pasay.

Police said that they received a telephone call from a concerned citizen who reported that a group of youth was having a pot session inside the cemetery.

Elements of the Central Park PCP were dispatched to conduct Oplan Galugad wherein JR was caught in the act while holding and toying a glass tube pipe with suspected marijuana residue that resulted to his arrest.

His cohorts, on the other hand, were able to escape as they scampered in different directions. JR was turned over to the Station Drug Enforcement Unit of the Pasay City Police Station for proper disposition. (Dhel Nazario)

Lucky streak led to shooting

A driver was injured after he was shot by two men who accused him of cheating while playing a card game at a wake in Taguig City, police reported Tuesday.

The victim was identified as Shalimar Valdez, 46, a resident of San Diego Street, Central Bicutan, Taguig City. The unidentified suspects remain at large.

Investigation showed that the incident occurred at around 5:45 in the morning along Central Bicutan, Maharlika Village, Taguig City.

According to the report, the victim attended the wake of his neighbor where he played a local card game known as “Pusoy” where he was assigned as the dealer.

There, the two suspects also joined the game. But they soon got irked with Valdez’ consecutive wins and accused him of cheating.

A heated argument then ensued during their confrontation. One of the suspects then pulled out a firearm then shot but misfired, but the other suspect was able to shoot and hit him on both shoulders.

The victim managed to escape and was brought to the Taguig-Pateros District Hospital for medical attention. Police are still conducting follow-up operation to apprehend the suspects. (Dhel Nazario)

Swindler nabbed in entrapment operation

A 24-year-old man was arrested by the police for estafa through swindling in an entrapment operation in Quezon City on Monday after he allegedly duped a woman of P10,000 cash in exchange for a high-end mobile phone.

Chief Superintendent Joselito Esquivel Jr., Quezon City Police District director, identified the suspect as Jose Reyes, known as Taffy, a resident of No. 84 Mary Street in Cubao, Quezon City.

Prior to the operation, complainant Ruffa Cabonita, 24, sought assistance from the QCPD Anti-Cybercrime Team and complained that she was deceived by Reyes through Facebook.

According to Cabonita, she agreed to buy a unit of Apple iPhone from Reyes through a Facebook transaction.

The victim sent P10,000 to the BDO bank account of Reyes as initial payment for the gadget in two separate transactions but the suspect did not deliver the said gadget and started giving alibis.

They agreed to meet last January 15 in Cubao but the suspect did not show up.

On January 18, Reyes promised to deliver the gadget should Cabonita pay the remaining balance of P1,600 which she sent to the same BDO account.

However, the victim did not receive the gadget, and later found out that she was blocked on the suspect’s Facebook account.

Cabonita used another account and posed as buyer to contact the suspect again. They agreed on another transaction.

The suspect told her again to deposit the money before the gadget will be delivered.

The victim immediately informed the QCPD-ACT of their transaction prompting the personnel to conduct an entrapment operation against Reyes around 3:45 p.m.

Reyes was traced to withdraw the entrapment money using the reference number given by the victim at Twins Reloading Station at K-10th Street in Brgy. West Kamias. This resulted in his arrest.

Further investigation showed that the suspect had at least 13 victims using the same modus including overseas Filipino workers from Dubai and Thailand. He also blocked the other victims from his Facebook account after receiving payments.

Reyes is now under police custody and will be charged with violation of Article 315 (Swindling through Estafa) of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Section 6 of Republic Act 10175 or The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. (Alexandria San Juan)

Gunmen miss targets, hit bystanders instead

Six bystanders, including a 15-year-old girl, were wounded after they were hit by stray bullets from motorcycle-riding gunmen chasing and firing at two other men on motorbike in Quezon City Monday night.

Quezon City Police Station 6 commander, Superintendent Joel Villanueva, identified the victims as Albert Daymil, 35; Cecilio Lacsina, 59; Jorlin Bitales, 35; Carmen Dionisio, 40; Eden Timbreza, 38; and Alfia Del Monte, 15.

Villanueva said all the victims were brought to the East Avenue Medical Center after sustaining grazed wounds on their legs and feet.

Police report showed that two men on motorbike were being chased and fired at by armed men also riding on motorcycle on the corner of Adarna Extension and Pilot Drive in Brgy. Commonwealth at past 8 p.m.

However, the backrider of the tailing motorcycle failed to hit the other two men.

Due to the indiscriminate firing, six bystanders were hit by stray bullets on their legs and feet.

Personnel from Batasan Police Station (PS-6) were able to recover eight spent shells from a caliber. 45 handgun.

Further investigation is ongoing to establish the motive in the shooting and identify the four men. (Alexandria San Juan)

Boy perishes in QC fire

A 7-year-old boy perished while a hundred of families were rendered homeless after separate fire incidents razed residential areas in Quezon City Monday night and before dawn Tuesday.

Bureau of Fire Protection-Quezon City District Fire Marshal Jaime Ramirez said the victim Jaren Repangcol, 7, was the first casualty of fire incidents in the City this year.

Initial investigation showed that Repangcol was sleeping on the second floor of their two-storey house on the corner of Litex Road and IBP Road in Barangay Commonwealth when the fire broke out in their living room at around 3:55 a.m.

The fire was immediately raised to third alarm at 4:01 a.m. as the blaze quickly spreads to adjacent houses made of light materials.

At least 50 houses were burnt by the fire that lasted for at least two hours before it was put out at 6 a.m.

The estimated damage of the fire was pegged at P250,000.

According to Senior Fire Officer 3 Rolando Valeña, minutes before the incident, the victim’s mother, Maricar Repangcol, went to his husband who was collecting garbage at the dumpsite near their house leaving her two sons, aged 6 and 7, sleeping inside their house.

She immediately went back upon hearing about the fire but their house was already burnt down.

When the probers went inside, they saw a body of a kid but Maricar failed to identify whose body it is until they saw her 6-year-old son at the covered court.

Valeña said they are initially looking at electrical short circuit as the cause of the fire following statements of residents that there is a brownout before the incident.

At least five hours prior to the incident, a fire also hit a residential area at Block 503 in Talayan Riverside around 10:20 p.m.

Fire probers said the blaze started at the kitchen area located at the ground floor of a two-storey house owned by a certain Joel Cambel.

The blaze spread to nearby houses and was immediately raised to third alarm at 10:35 p.m. before it was declared fire out at 2 a.m.

The four-hour fire burnt down at least 60 houses affecting more or less 100 families, probers said.

No residents were reported injured while the damage of the fire was pegged at P2 million.

Fire probers have yet to establish the cause of the fire as further investigation is ongoing. (Alexandria San Juan)